Surgery

How Your Gut Bacteria Is Affecting Your Weight, Mental Health And Immunity

They call it a ‘gut feeling’ for a reason… 

October 27, 2016

Women’s Pain Isn’t A Competition, So Why Do We Keep Treating It As Such?

Let’s stop acting like pain is a game someone can win at.

October 10, 2016

Teen Girl Dies After Illegal Genital Mutilation Surgery in Egypt

Female circumcision remains a huge problem in Africa.

June 2, 2016

My First Abortion Was As Horrific As You Thought It’d Be

They can scrape out your insides but can’t offer an Advil?

April 26, 2016

It’s My Job To Put People’s Newly Amputated Limbs In The Bin

Laura Bokody shares the uncomfortable details of one of the world’s toughest jobs.

January 19, 2016

Can Music Help You To Heal?

Music does wonderful things for the brain. It’s a quintessential part of a breakup, to give you something to cry to by someone who relates to your pain. It’s a must have for a wedding, to convey your love through the tunes being played as your walk down the aisle or have your first dance. And it gives you thrills and chills in movies, to really set the scene.

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Music plays on our emotions and we know that it can mentally heal someone who is dealing with grief. But recent studies have shown that music can actually help our bodies to heal better after surgery. How amazing is that?

Doctors have recently written a piece for medical journal The Lancet to detail how music improves the recovery time after surgery for patients in hospital. The often ignored, non-drug treatment is said to have many benefits including reducing the activity of our nervous system, thus lowering the pulse and the blood pressure of the patient.

Listening to music before, during and after surgery can affect perceived intensity and unpleasantness of pain, which enables the patient’s sense of pain to be reduced. This also reduces anxiety levels.

So what kind of music is going to help you to recover when you come out from surgery? There’s no right answer for that, it’s about what sounds good for you. As music is a personal choice, your recovery songs are all going to be different, whether you like a bit of Guns ‘n’ Roses or Taylor Swift.

This research was done to help promote non-drug related pain tolerance methods that are often ignored. Doctors are so quick to reach for drugs in order to get things done, when there may be a non-drug related solution that is better for the body.

London-based researchers found that the effect of music was consistent across many different types of surgery and music styles and that patients should feel free to request their favourite songs, as long as there was no interference with medical equipment.

If you happen to be going into surgery soon, good luck to you, for one, and ask to be able to listen to your favourite tunes to assist in your recovery process; it’s much better for your body to have music help you to heal.

Image via gettyimages.com

August 24, 2015

Angelina Jolie Speaks Out About Latest Surgery

Two years ago the world was both moved and stunned when prized Hollywood beauty, Angelina Jolie wrote about her choice to have a double mastectomy. Well, yesterday, she surprised us again by revealing that she had removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes as a preventative measure against ovarian cancer.

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Writing for the New York Times, Jolie opened up about her experience and explained that she carries the faulty BRCA1 gene, which means her risk of breast cancer increases to 87 per cent and risk of ovarian cancer to 50 per cent. “I lost my mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer,” she wrote.

Due to her family history, Jolie revealed she had been having regular appointments with both Eastern and Western doctors, and was preparing herself both physically and emotionally for when the time would come to have surgery. “I had been planning this for some time. It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe,” she revealed.

It was after a routine check that informalities alerted doctors and Jolie that there might be ovarian cancer in its early stages. After further tests were taken, the mother of six learnt that the tumour test was negative, yet there was still a chance of early stage cancer.

“I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt. I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren.”

Weighing up her options, the 39-year-old explained: “A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery… the most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally,” but in this case, Jolie’s doctors recommended the procedure.

“My doctors indicated I should have preventative surgery about a decade before the earliest onset of cancer in my female relative. My mother’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed when she was 49. I’m 39.” While the actress chose to keep her uterus, the operation has brought on menopause, left her unable to have children and hasn’t removed all risk. “The fact is I remain prone to cancer,” she said.

And while this news may come as a surprise to some, Jolie has still managed to find peace in a frightening situation. “The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarising, and it is peaceful,” she explained.

In 2013, Jolie surprised the masses, sending the media into a storm, and after her article was released yesterday, it has once again. So why the hysteria? Is it because people suddenly saw her as a real woman and not as an ethereal, untouchable celebrity? Did the world finally realise that even the most elite have emotions, difficult moments, tough issues and problems too?

The choices she made were educated and so is her article. Through the piece she highlights the issues and provides us with an informative, heartfelt and sensitive account.

Jolie, who is a UN High Commissioner for refugees feels comfortable with her decision. “I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know my children will never have to say, ‘Mom died of ovarian cancer,'” she said.

Both men and women can contract the BRCA 1 or 2 genes and the process to analyse whether you may have them is as easy as taking a blood test. Women have a 1 in 54 chance of contracting ovarian cancer and for women like Jolie who have BRCA gene present, their chances of the cancer skyrocket to 1 in 2.

“I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of my life. It is nothing to be feared.”

We applaud her decision – it’s not easy to make life-alerting choices in the public eye. We only hope that with the attention this has gained that more men and women will seek advice and learn about the risks that they may face. After all, as Jolie concludes: “Knowledge is power.”

Image via Dress Lilly

March 25, 2015

Do Lip Injectables Actually Work?

Getting a perfect pout is easier than ever before with creams, ointments and lip injectables which are now readily available. They are still quite a controversial topic, with beauty vlogger Chloe Morello even uploading her journey onto YouTube to give others who might be interested the best advice possible. Are these methods reliable, safe and healthy to inject into our bodies, and better yet are they permanent?

Thrifty option: Lip plumper

A thrifty way to achieve pouty lips is by using plumping sticks and balms. The results can slightly vary for each individual, but almost always create a sexy pout which is designed to last all night long. A great alternative is the Laura Mercier Lip Plumper which will set you back around $40; creates the illusion of a larger lip without the longterm commitment. Immediately after applying, users will feel a tingling sensation that plumps lips naturally. There are a bunch of different colours to choose from, and the finish feels just like a lip gloss.

This is the best option for anyone who wishes to experiment with larger lips, without committing to a hefty price tag, or any longterm effects. Many products on the market promise to create plumper lips, but only a handful of these might actually do the job. It’s best to research through online forums and amongst friends to determine which products are the best to create a temporary but sexy lip.

Expensive option: Lip augmentation

Injectables and fillers are a popular option for those who wish to have bigger, plumper lips for an extended period of time. Restylane or Juvederm are two of the most popular ways to create fuller lips in minutes, and are ideal for anyone having their first lip plumping experience. These are found in the same family of hyaluronic acid fillers which create temporary augmentation, ideally made to last for approximately 6 months. The only side effects users will feel after the procedure include swelling and minor bruising. Applying a cooling pad or ice is the best way to combat any pain, and reduce bruising. Restylane and Juvederm will set you back between $500-$700.

These lip injectables should be administered only by a trained and certified medical professional either at a clinic, or a day surgery. The black market is slowly catching up to the trend, and many people choose to buy from uncertified websites or sellers and do it themselves at home. This practice is unsafe since you will never really know their true side effects, or even what these black market injectables are made of.

Permanent solution?

The only way to have a permanent pout is lip augmentation surgery which uses fillers. These are made to last for years, and are ideal for anyone which is seeking fuller lips for the longterm. Fillers can start anywhere upwards of $600, plus a fee for the consultation.

Have you ever had your lips done before? Share with us your experience in the comments below.

Image via Health Tap

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 21, 2014

Plastic Surgery Guide To Abdominoplasty

If your tummy isn’t as flat as you would like for it to be, you may have considered having abdominoplasty, or as it’s commonly called, a tummy tuck. While having this surgery can definitely improve the way you look in tight jeans or a swimsuit, don’t expect miracles. Here’s a realistic guide to abdominoplasty.

What a tummy tuck can do

Abdominoplasty can remove excess skin and fat as well as repairing stretched-out muscles resulting from pregnancy, ageing, weight fluctuations or heredity fat deposits. A tummy tuck can give you a smoother, flatter abdomen.

What a tummy tuck can’t do

While tummy tuck surgery can remove some stretch marks, it can’t get rid of all of them.

Abdominoplasty is not the lazy woman’s shortcut to weight loss. For the best results, the patient should already be at a healthy and stable weight before undergoing the surgery. If you’re planning to get pregnant in the future, this surgery should be postponed until afterwards.

Have realistic expectations

If you look at all those flattering photos in ads for plastic surgeons, you’d think that you could emerge from your abdominoplasty with the toned, flawless tummy of a swimsuit model. You need to have realistic expectations and your cosmetic surgeon should talk you through them.

The abdominoplasty procedure

There will be one incision made between the pubic line and the navel that will leave a scar at the bikini line. If you have a large amount of excess skin and fat, another incision will be necessary around the navel in order to reposition it higher on your abdomen. This is also likely to leave a scar.

Abdominoplasty cost

In Australia, a tummy tuck can cost from $6,000-$10,000. None of that will be covered by insurance unless your doctor considers it medically necessary to repair a condition like an abdominal hernia.

Down time after abdominoplasty

The average down time following a tummy tuck (or before you can drive and go back to work or other moderate activity) is 10 to 14 days. Full physical activity like exercise is permitted after six weeks.

Liposuction and other surgery

In some cases, abdominal liposuction can be more successful than a tummy tuck, so speak to your cosmetic surgeon about both options and which, if any, are best for you.

If you are considering getting other cosmetic surgeries like a breast reduction, these can sometimes be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. Discuss your plan with a plastic surgeon.

Would you consider getting a tummy tuck?

August 6, 2013

Plastic Surgery Guide: How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgeries, so let’s take a look at what to expect from liposuction, including how much does liposuction cost?

Liposuction removes fat deposits from areas of the body, especially stubborn spots that do not respond to dieting or exercise. Liposuction is most frequently performed on the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, legs and waist. It can also be done on the arms, neck, back, inner knee, cheeks, chin and chest. Properly done, liposuction can give you more sculpted curves and tighter contours.

Liposuction cost

How much you’ll pay for liposuction depends on how many areas you have treated in one procedure. Typically you’ll pay $3,000-$5,000 for one area of the body, $5,000-$6,500 for two,  $6,500-$8,000 for three and $9,500-$15,000 for four to six areas. Liposuction can be done alone or combined with other cosmetic procedures like a breast reduction, facelift or tummy tuck.

The total price of your procedure will include the surgeon’s fee, anaesthesia, cost of hospital or surgical facility, post-surgery garments, medical tests and prescriptions for medication. For a more exact idea of how much the procedure will cost, consult a surgeon in your area who performs liposuction. Check with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons to find a registered plastic surgeon, and do your homework.

The procedure

What happens during liposuction? First, you receive anaesthesia, then small, inconspicuous incisions are made. A thin, hollow tube called a cannula is inserted through the incisions to loosen the excess fat, then the dislodged fat is suctioned out with a surgical vacuum. The results will be visible once the swelling and bruising of the procedure subside.

Can the fat come back?

Generally, no, because the fat cells have been vacuumed out. However, liposuction should not be considered a treatment for obesity. You should be at your optimal weight before having the procedure performed.

Liposuction is not for everyone. The ideal candidate is an adult who is within 30% of optimal weight with good muscle tone and elastic skin that is in good health and has an optimistic outlook on the surgery. It also helps with healing if the patient is a non-smoker.

Possible complications

The list of complications that can happen is too long to list here, so thoroughly discuss this subject with your plastic surgeon. Problems can range from uneven contours or irregular pigmentation to blood clots, scarring or nerve damage. Liposuction is major surgery, it can be very painful and it should never be considered an easy way to drop a few kilos quickly.

New liposuction techniques

The latest techniques being used in liposuction are external and internal ultrasonic liposculpture. These techniques allow fat to be removed in larger volumes and more precisely with less swelling or bruising. Currently, a small number of surgeons in Australia are performing these procedures.

July 18, 2013